How do I switch DHCP from server to DD-WRT-powered router?
Posted on 2009-02-23
Hi, first-time poster here. Hopefully I won't do anything wrong. I already know this question is gonna be wordy. ;-)
I am the network admin for a small business - approx. 30 workstations. Currently we have a Dell PowerEdge 2800 operating as our domain controller (Exchange, Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, etc.), and another 2800 operating as a SQL server. They both run Windows SBS 2003. These units have been at the company longer than I have, have had a few upgrades performed by myself, but basically are on their "last legs". Specifically, it will be the first unit mentioned I'm looking to replace.
We also have one Linksys WRT54G router, modified with DD-WRT firmware, that I installed, and totally love. This router will be at the heart of my question.
Question is, this server I have, I hate it. In the past year since I've worked for the company, I've spent countless nights maintaining it. Not just applying software updates and fixing configuration errors, I've had to replace one of the power supplies, the memory, one of the hard drives, and the tape drive, all have which have failed in the past 12 months. I'd like to reduce it's necessity to the business, given that eventually this thing is gonna die in a way I can't repair. I make nightly backups of my Exchange data (the whole system state, in fact), but what I'd like to do is offload as many critical functions from the server to the router as possible. I'm already in the process of removing all my printers from Active Directory, and setting the workstations to print via standard TCP/IP ports, instead (they're all workgroup-class networked HP printers, why would they need to go through the server? It's just added overhead, IMHO). I'd also like to switch DHCP and DNS to go through the router, next. (note that I've set us up with OpenDNS currently, if that matters)
So how do I disable DHCP & DNS on the server, and switch them to the router? The router, I think, is the easy part. DD-WRT is so simple and straight-forward, compared to Server 2003, it's like night & day in my opinion. I think I can just click on "DHCP server - enable", set the number of users and the range, plug in my preferred DNS servers and be done with it. But what will be the drawbacks? I've googled this significantly, and can't find anyone else trying to do what I'm doing. Is it that unheard of? Why are people so gung-ho about performing with a complicated and unreliable server, what can easily be done on a hardware level with a good router? Obviously there's something I'm missing. Would it somehow royally screw up my domain if I do this? My ideal solution would be to have everything handled by the router except for the Active Directory logins and Exchange, and my other server still doing SQL, of course. Does that sound feasible?
Last - should I assign more points to this question? I just started my account, so guess I only have 125, right? ;-)